Thursday, June 28, 2012

10K coming up

I have been so focused on my next big race, the Jamestown Half which is part of the UnitedHealthCare Triple Crown, that I am not really focused on the10K I am running on Tuesday for the 4th of July.  Yes I have been working on a costume for the race.  It is a holiday race after all and deserves a costume.  But other than that I am treating it as a fun run.

The race is the HarvardPilgrim Health Care Finish at the 50 (10K, 5K & kids race).  The kids are going to do a lap around the inside of Gillette Stadium for the kids race at 3:30 pm before my race goes off at 6:00 pm.  There are all kinds of family friendly activities that are happening in conjunction with the event and we are really looking forward to the event.

Interestingly this is the first 10K I have raced since I ran the Race for the Taste 10K at Disney in October 2009.  I have come a long way with my running since then.  I remember finishing that race and telling everyone that I would never travel to Disney for a race any longer than 10K.  Well look at me now!  2 runDisney Princess weekends later and headed into Marathon weekend signed up to do Goofy with a 100% chance that I will go for Dopey!  I have come a long way and I am looking forward to even better things!

Sometimes it is okay for a race to just be a fun run!  When did you last run a race just for fun?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Getting to Know You - Jamestown RI UHCTC Half Marathon

Sunday I headed to Jamestown RI for my getting to know you run.  I always try to pre-run a race course so that I can enjoy and learn the route.  The UHCTC Jamestown is going to be a beautiful race, but it is also going to be a difficult race.  I did not know the island was so hilly!

From the start it is uphill for the first 4 miles.  The road across the top of the island is steep up and then down.  Starting south it rolls down for a ways, before going up and then down again to dip under Route 138.  Then wouldn't you know is up again back into the residential portion of the island.  Once you clear town to the south it is back onto the rollers as you wrap around the south end of the island.  You come back down into town as you head north along the coast.    The bridge comes back into view and you know you are almost there.  Once you hit Bay View you are really close, but up hill you go again before finishing near the water.

It is one circuit around the island.  The roads are decent everywhere except the north and south ends.  The roads are pitched dropping off from the high center line to the lower edges.  There are places where there is no shoulder with overgrown plants hanging out onto the road.  People were very polite.  Divers are used to cyclists doing laps on their island.  There are road signs everywhere telling people to share the road.

I did not get an early start on Sunday morning.  I arrived in town at 10 am and headed right to the public restrooms.  I was all ready to head off to the start line, but when I consulted my map I realized we are not starting in town.  We are starting north of the bridge near the toll booths.  So I had to move the car.  There is a 20 space parking lot on the south side of the cove and that is where I parked.

I did not have any difficulty running the island.  It was very runner friendly (by this I mean the people & the cars).  I carried my 20 oz. water bottle and wore my running belt with 2 10 oz. bottles.  I went through 30 oz. in 11 miles and refilled the bottles as I went through town.

So what did it look like? Well I took a few photos!

So here is what my Garmin says the course looks like.  4.5 to 8 was nice and it was also shady.
Everything else was rollers in the sun!

Town of Jamestown Recreation Center

The Rest Rooms are on the south side of the building.

View from the start line
RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority complex near the start line.

View from the start line looking back over our shoulders at the bridge
(and the 20 car parking lot).

On the road headed north with 138 off to the left.

The island just has an amazing feel!

Every now and then you catch a glimpse of the water off to the east as we are still heading north.

If you ever question if the turn you are about to take (in RI)
is the main  route just look for one of these signs.

The road across the north end of the island is steep and rough!
The road may be rough, but boy is it beautiful!

Rock walls abound!

Down, down, and down we go under Route 138.

In this case what goes down must go is time to climb.

Rewards along the way

I wonder if there will be a breeze race morning?

Interesting clouds!

Happy Horses!

Check that out!
A great view of the bridge as we head south.

Belted Galloways - or as we call them "Oreo Cows"

Orange Lilies were in bloom all over the island.

Fantastic playground on the drag south in town at Swinburne St.

Down at the south end of the island right at the turn to head back north.
Caution: the road makes a tight left turn and kicks up (your body will want to walk).

No visit to the park for is a run by.

Running back into Jamestown

See the run to it!

Well check that out...we made it to the bridge!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Order Up! My kind of weather!

Back-story: I started feeling not so great on Friday afternoon.  Saturday mornings run killed me and it took me a while to figure out why.  I was getting sick.  I upped my napping and tried to get good nights of sleep.  I took yesterday off from running, plus it was Father's Day.  This morning I was starting to feel better.

So tonight my plan was to head out for a longer run, keep it light & easy, and not stress my system.  The bonus was that the weather was perfect.  I would like to put an order in now for a repeat of the weather for my next 4 summer races.  It was in the mid-60s with a Bay breeze and fluffy white clouds.  I did not want my health to mess up such a perfect run.  Saturday I did 6, but the last 1 1/2 felt horrible.  Tonight I was thinking 10, but decided that 8 was a safer bet so that I would not relapse.  It was amazing and I just kept reminding myself of that fact!  I also kept thinking light & easy, chest open, and breath!

So what are my upcoming races?  Let's see:

July 3: Harvard Pilgrim 10K
"The 10K event is a 6.2-mile course covering the most scenic, tree-lined roads that Foxborough, Mass. has to offer. You'll find this to be the easiest and flattest 10K course around with only one medium hill to contend with. After your hard effort on the course, you will experience an exciting and most memorable finish. The Finish at the 50 event is a must do. You will run through the huge inflated football helmet, onto the field to the cheers of thousands of fans and see yourself on the giant 48 feet wide HDTV screen. Your race finishes on the 50 yard line inside Gillette Stadium at Patriot Place! Stick around to celebrate Independence Day with a spectacular fireworks display above Patriot Place."

July 14: UnitedHealthcare Jamestown Half Marathon
"The 2012 UnitedHealthcare Jamestown Half Marathon is set on picturesque Conanicut Island and looks out over Narragansett Bay and the Newport Pell Bridge, the largest suspension bridge in New England.
The USATF certified course will lead runners around the island and historic Jamestown, finishing against the backdrop of the Pell Bridge and Narragansett Bay."

July 27: 41st Annual Road Race & Blessing of the Fleet.
All of Narragansett, Rhode Island comes out to support this 10 miler.  There are house parties along the course the whole way and a seafood festival at the finish line!  This is a fantastic race!

August 19: Rock 'n' Roll Providence
Runners will enjoy scenic water views along the final mile of the course, as they head back downtown to the finish line and post-race concert on the State House grounds! Bands will be stationed at every mile to set the pace for a 13.1 block party.  Watch this:

Are any of you running any of these races with me?  Do you want to?  Let me know!

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's a numbers game...or is it?

You hear a lot about PRs or personal records.  The thing is that no two runs are the same and certainly no two races are the same.  There are so many variables that combine to make your run what it is on any given day.  The factors include: weather, course, training, fueling, clothing and rest to list a few.

You really need to cut yourself some slack sometimes.  Heat and humidity can add up to extra minutes by the end of the run that's life.  Make sure you judge yourself within the context of your run.

Never under value what you have done!  Your effort is valuable and the only results that mater in the end are inside of you: inside your muscles, inside your soul, inside your mind.

Do what you love & love what you do - go running!

Saturday morning run in my new MCM 2012 shirt.
It says DETERMINATION across the back.
Nothing like wearing a vote of confidence in yourself across your back!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Born to Run

I finished my latest book last night.  I really enjoyed Born to Run!  So when it was due back at the library tomorrow do you think I drove it back?  No Way!  I threw the 3 books in a bag and ran the 6 miles round trip to get them home.  I got a few looks as I ran holding my bundle in my hand.  Like "what could she possibly be running with?"  A mom even pointed out to her daughter "that lady is running on the bike path with her books" as I came within a 1/4 mile of the library.  It seemed like a positive comment.  There was no way I was running the loop and then setting out in the van to drive the loop to get them back.  Running them home just really seemed to be in keeping with the story.

What did you all think of the book?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Girls on the Run 5K at Roger Williams Park - June 2

What a race!  What a day!  I registered myself and my youngest for this race a couple of months ago.  I thought it would be a wonderful experience for us and give her a chance to run her first 5K in friendly company close to home.

Then the over scheduling set in...and low and behold her soccer team had a tournament the same day.  Well mother nature has a way of simplifying things every now and then.  I just had a feeling that the 5K would run and the tournament would be cancelled...but not before I loaded the van full of everything for an entire day of multiple sports and clothing changes.  I almost threw in a clothing basket for all the wet clothing we were going to generate.  Did I mention it was pouring with a chance of thunder all day?

As soon as we were on the road to the race (cutting it a little close I might add) I got the call that the on-again, off-again tournament was really not happening.  Boy was I happy.  We just needed to get to the start line of the race and enjoy our soaking run.

Let me back track a bit...Last night we headed to the fabric store because we needed a costume!  If we were going to run in the pouring rain we were going to need something to lift our spirits and Duck Costumes seemed just the thing!  So at 7:30 last night I started sewing a dress for my daughter, a skirt for me, and a hat for her.  That was a far as I got by 9:30 when I decided I needed to stop and go to bed more than I needed a hat for myself.  She was really pleased with her costume and that is what matters when you are trying to convince a kid that running 3+ miles in the rain is going to be a fantastic experience.

She was happy and positive throughout the whole experience!

So our game plan was to wear our black garbage bags until we were warm enough that we no longer wanted them and we were going to take this course at a jog, walking whenever she wanted to.  We sang nursery rhymes and made up songs as we ran between the lakes that dot Roger Williams Park.  The views were spectacular and the company was even better.  Of course there was a ton of support for the kids running the race and it was great to here the announcer call out my daughter's name as she crossed the line.

We left the bags on through mile 1.  It stopped raining so hard at that point.

So we ditched the bags and let our costumes get a little wet.

A self portrait along the race course.

We made it to mile 2!  There was a great cheering section at the water stop.

The water was pouring off the topped off lake to the right.

She was happy to see the mile 3 marker.  We were almost there!

We made it!  They had finishers medals for the girls that had done the 12 week Girls on the Run  program.  The girl's school is still trying to establish the program at their school.

She is a good photographer as well as runner!
It was quite the experience all in all.  I love running with my girls!  We were thinking that it was going to be too much for her to run the 5K and play 2 hour long soccer games.  In the end it all worked out.  It was cool enough that the running was not difficult and the games were a washout!  I am still on the outside of Girls on the Run, but the 2 events that we have run have been wonderful.  I am a supporter!

After the race they had a great raffle, but you had to be present to win.  (The rain had sent most people packing.)  So we bought $10 worth of tickets and tested our luck!  We picked up 2 Road ID vouchers, a free race entry for a later race (I already have a half picked out for Sept.) and a free bike tune up.  We let them re-raffle the tune up since my husband has been a bike mechanic on the side for about 25 years.  I was trilled with our prizes!  They had so many wonderful things in the raffle.  I am glad that the community is supporting the program!